Contemporary Arab theater will be represented in Hebrew for the first time ever in A Thousand Nights presented by the Arab-Hebrew Theater of Jaffa through May 12.
Seven playwrights from the Palestinian Authority, Syria and Egypt will be showcased by nine of their plays. The festival started Saturday with Death Song (May 11) by Egyptian playwright Tawfik el-Hakim and The Birds Build Their Nests between the Fingers (May 7) from Gaza's Mowa'in Besiso.
The other plays include He's Not Dead (May 8 and 12) by Hussein Barghouti from Ramallah, Crazy Sa'adon (May 9 and 11), a comedy by Egyptian playwright Lenin al-Ramili about a patient released after 25 years in a mental hospital who believes it's still 1967. His worried family doesn't want let him find out it isn't.
From Mahmud Taymur (Egypt) comes The Court's Justice (May 8) about a village woman who takes on the male establishment and is destroyed by it, Ladies and Gentlemen (May 10), a satirical revue from Syria's Muhammad el-Magut and The Mask (May 10 and 12) by fellow-countryman Mamduch Oduwan. Two plays will be performed each evening and will be preceded at 6:30 p.m by a lecture on aspects of Arab theater ranging from the theater in Syria to shadow theater in the Arab world. The festival takes place at the Arab Jewish Theater at Mifratz Shlomo 10, better known as the Old Jaffa Museum.